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Does a Soft (Grassy) Verge Constitue Safe Pedestrian Access? (On A Country Lane)

I went for a walk a bit further afield today and happened upon this rare wall type post box dated to the reign of Queen Victoria and was wondering if people agreed it's got safe access. In a different village near me, somebody submitted a King Edward VII wall type post box along another country lane and it got rejected because apparently there was "no safe pedestrian access". My thoughts were:

  1. Why would the erect a post box in a place that wasn't safe for pedestrians to access? King Edward VII reigned after cars started to become a thing.
  2. People were looking for an excuse to reject a post box, even though it was a particularly historic example of one.

I'm not looking to have a discussion as to whether or not a post box is a valid submission. I only want to know if soft verges count as having 'safe pedestrian access'. The UK Highway Code has strict rules for walking along roads such as the one this nomination is on and there are definitely safe ways for pedestrians to navigate them.

Google Maps coordinates for the nomination (for Google Street View): https://www.google.com/maps/place/51%C2%B017'26.0%22N+0%C2%B023'51.3%22E/@51.2906092,0.3952465,16.75z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d51.290552!4d0.397592


Within 40m of my nomination there is a passing point for cars that pedestrians can also use, thus not being technically on the road.

Here is my nomination, with supplemental photograph:


Best Answer

  • Faversham71-INGFaversham71-ING Posts: 306 ✭✭✭✭
    Answer ✓

    Much as I agree that people will use it and it doesn't cause the residents any issue, it's still set into the boundary wall so would be PRP under Niantic's rules. It's the same with historic plaques that are on house walls - the owners might be perfectly happy for people to stand there and read about previous residents, and would likely have agreed to the plaque's installation, but it would still technically fall foul of Niantic's ruling. The PRP rule sadly means a lot of otherwise interesting potential waypoints are ruled out.

    I wouldn't reject it outright for pedestrian access - Niantic have said we're to use our judgement with country roads that don't have a separate path but are clearly intended to be shared with pedestrians - I'd probably 3* access in this case, a wider grass verge could still be 5*.

Answers

  • AScarletSabre-PGOAScarletSabre-PGO Posts: 741 ✭✭✭✭✭

    However, it is facing the road so people would not enter the private property. If the home owners didn't want people using their historic post box then they would have already requested for it to be removed. I've had a post box that is arguably even more on private property than that one accepted in the past.

    See here for Wayspot link on Ingress Intel Map: https://intel.ingress.com/intel?ll=51.239441,0.577807&z=18

    King George VI Lamp Box In A Wall, Pear Tree Row, Langley

    "A rare lamp box type postbox in a wall, from the reign of King George VI (1936-1952), serving the residents of the village. His reign was marked by Second World War and the post-war austerity, so not many post boxes bearing his royal cypher were made."

    Then see Google Street View link: https://www.google.com/maps/@51.23936,0.5776219,3a,44.9y,58.06h,85.36t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sawDOc1-ClaEtW6WnHXVkSA!2e0!6s%2F%2Fgeo0.ggpht.com%2Fcbk%3Fpanoid%3DawDOc1-ClaEtW6WnHXVkSA%26output%3Dthumbnail%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26thumb%3D2%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D55.944237%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i13312!8i6656


    (yes, I get about a lot).

  • AScarletSabre-PGOAScarletSabre-PGO Posts: 741 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2020

    I understand that, however we must remember that the post boxes are not part of the residential property because they are owned and maintained by Royal Mail. Or am I mistaken? The homeowner does not get to claim ownership of the post box and it is there for the public to use. If the post box really bothered the home owner they might have written a letter to Royal Mail asking for it to be decommissioned, but they have not.


    I'm willing to bet that if the homeowner blocked access to a post box at the perimeter of their property they'd be breaking the law.

  • AScarletSabre-PGOAScarletSabre-PGO Posts: 741 ✭✭✭✭✭

    But ask yourself: why would the homeowner block access to something which members of the public are supposed to use? They are not the ones who put the post box there; Royal Mail maintains the post box. There must be a law somewhere regarding blocking post box access. The post box has existed there for well over one-hundred years and it apparently hasn't bothered anyone living there.

  • Gendgi-AmboGendgi-Ambo Posts: 2,715 Ambassador

    @NianticCasey-ING, private residential property aside, we've been asking for quite some time to help clarify safe pedestrian access.

    Thanks.

  • AScarletSabre-PGOAScarletSabre-PGO Posts: 741 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2020

    Here is what the law says regarding post boxes, therefore the "homeowner" must allow the public to interact with the post box or face a criminal conviction. The law says if the homeowner disfigures post box or affixes anything to the post box (such as a thing which would prevent its use) they shall face consequences. The law is clear that the person living at that address can do nothing about that post box.


    Prohibition on affixing advertisements on certain letter boxes etc.

    (1)A person commits an offence if, without due authority, he affixes any advertisement, document, board or thing in or on any universal postal service post office, universal postal service letter box or other property belonging to, or used by, a universal service provider in connection with the provision of a universal postal service.

    (2)A person commits an offence if, without due authority, he paints or in any way disfigures any such office, box or property.

    (3)A person who commits an offence under subsection (1) or (2) shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.

    (4)In this Act—

       “universal postal service letter box” means any box or receptacle provided by a universal service provider for the purpose of receiving postal packets, or any class of postal packets, for onwards transmission in connection with the provision of a universal postal service, and

       “universal postal service post office” includes any house, building, room, vehicle or place used for the provision of any postal services in connection with the provision of a universal postal service or a part of such a service.

  • AScarletSabre-PGOAScarletSabre-PGO Posts: 741 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The law goes on to say:

    Obstruction of business of universal service providers.

    (1)A person commits an offence if, without reasonable excuse, he—

    (a)obstructs a person engaged in the business of a universal service provider in the execution of his duty in connection with the provision of a universal postal service, or

    (b)obstructs, while in any universal postal service post office or related premises, the course of business of a universal service provider.


    So like I said before, and people disagreed, the "homeowner" would be committing a criminal offense if they stopped a member of the public from using that post box. I'd say it's valid based on that. It's not like it's a private art installation. It's something which, by law, the public are allowed to use.

  • Gendgi-AmboGendgi-Ambo Posts: 2,715 Ambassador

    The law supports the post box being there. It does not trump Niantic ruling against placing Wayspots on private residential property, assuming that's that that land qualifies as.

  • AScarletSabre-PGOAScarletSabre-PGO Posts: 741 ✭✭✭✭✭

    That would be fair enough if the post box was actually on private residential properly. It's within 40m of the property, sure, but on the road (outside). As with the football pitch on the police HQ that's a Wayspot, if somebody complains then it can be removed. It's not in my usual area of play so don't mind too much if it gets rejected.

  • Sugarstarzkill-PGOSugarstarzkill-PGO Posts: 437 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I would probably consider this to have adequate pedestrian access, because it is a post box which people are expected to walk up to.


    However, I feel like the laws posted actually hurt this submission more than help it. The homeowners, it sounds, don't have a choice whether or not the postbox remains there. They might not even like having it there, much less having people stop in front of their house to spin the stop/catch, or worse, stop to raid or battle. This pretty clearly falls under the PRP ruling that was made- even things right on the sidewalk, at the edge of the property, are considered PRP.

  • Gendgi-AmboGendgi-Ambo Posts: 2,715 Ambassador

    But the police department is expected to have some access, not the same as private residential property. The guidance says no to private residential, not no to private commercial property.

  • Gendgi-AmboGendgi-Ambo Posts: 2,715 Ambassador

    Anyways, I'm honestly not sure on the pedestrian access. I agree it's more or less implied / defined as being safely accessible, but encouraging somebody / a group of people to congregate there wouldn't be safe.

  • SavageBuneary-PGOSavageBuneary-PGO Posts: 9 ✭✭


    If the wall it is mounted on is the border of the residential property, then it should be considered PRP, and therefore not eligible regardless of whether people actually interact with it in the first place. Access to it does not necessarily mean it is eligible as per Wayfarer Guidelines.

  • Faversham71-INGFaversham71-ING Posts: 306 ✭✭✭✭
    Answer ✓

    Much as I agree that people will use it and it doesn't cause the residents any issue, it's still set into the boundary wall so would be PRP under Niantic's rules. It's the same with historic plaques that are on house walls - the owners might be perfectly happy for people to stand there and read about previous residents, and would likely have agreed to the plaque's installation, but it would still technically fall foul of Niantic's ruling. The PRP rule sadly means a lot of otherwise interesting potential waypoints are ruled out.

    I wouldn't reject it outright for pedestrian access - Niantic have said we're to use our judgement with country roads that don't have a separate path but are clearly intended to be shared with pedestrians - I'd probably 3* access in this case, a wider grass verge could still be 5*.

  • Gazzas89-PGOGazzas89-PGO Posts: 1,605 ✭✭✭✭✭

    To me, of say it passes safe access by 4 star rather than 5.


    As for the prp aspect, since its incorporated into the wall, it is unfortunately prp. If it had been a stand alone post bax with the wall built round it, that I would say passes

  • silverkali-INGsilverkali-ING Posts: 92 ✭✭✭

    Although designed to be public access (it is a post box after all) because it is in the boundary wall of a PRP, Niantic's own rules take precedence and it's not eligible due to it's location.

    I do however, think that grassy verges can have safe pedestrian access, in the countryside there's often no pavement at all so for all intents and purposes the verge is the pavement.

  • Dazzz123456-PGODazzz123456-PGO Posts: 301 ✭✭✭

    Would 100%reject for pedestrian access. A potential group standing in a country lane with no foot path with cars potentially travelling at the national speed limit is enough for me to reject.

    As for private residence I'd say I wouldn't drop a star or reject for that as it's not land own by the house it is owned by royal mail.

  • PoMaQue-PGOPoMaQue-PGO Posts: 223 ✭✭✭✭

    As someone living on the countryside, "safe pedestrian access" means someone can walk without danger.

    It doesn't have to be a sidewalk (not always present), wide enough grassy paths still get my approval.

    If even that is not present, then it requires some more digging, i.e. checking the road's speed limit. Roads that allow 70km/h without safe room get a rejection. Small country roads get a pass easier, since traffic tends to be lower and slower.

    Things aren't always logical, i.e. we have plenty of walking trails going through roads without any kind of sidewalk 😅

  • NorthSeaPoet-INGNorthSeaPoet-ING Posts: 895 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The box is owned by Royal Mail but because it's set into the boundary wall of the house, NIA say it's PRP.

    In regards to the pedestrian access, that's definitely something that RM probably only expect a handful of people to use through the day, so I definitely agree that having a group of players standing there isn't the safest option.

  • Gazzas89-PGOGazzas89-PGO Posts: 1,605 ✭✭✭✭✭

    That being said, if it's an area that doesnt even have pavements, how many people would realistically be playing in the area? Doubt you could string together 5 people

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